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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Addition of seminal plasma to thawed stallion spermatozoa did not repair cryoinjuries

Al-Essawe, Essraa M.; Johannisson, Anders; Wulf, Manuela; Aurich, Christine; Morrell, Jane M.


Freezing and thawing processes induce structural and functional damage to sperm plasma membranes and internal organelles. Adding seminal plasma (SP) has been found to minimize or repair the cryoinjuries in some species. The objective of this study was to investigate whether adding SP from stallions of known freezability after thawing could repair cryoinjuries. Semen was collected from warmblood stallions (n = 8, three ejaculates/stallion) and processed by Single Layer Centrifugation (SLC) to remove SP prior to freezing. Pooled SP (5%) from bad freezer (BF) or good freezer (GF) stallions was added after thawing. Post-thaw sperm quality was assessed by flow cytometry in terms of chromatin integrity (ßI), membrane integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and MitoSOX. Sperm kinematics were also assessed by computer-assisted sperm analysis. The ßI was lower in SLC control (C) than in BF or GF (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0003 respectively). The proportion of viable spermatozoa with intact cell membranes was higher in C than in SP treated groups (C vs. BF, P = 0.02; C vs GF, P = 0.05). There were fewer spermatozoa with low MMP and more with high MMP for C than GF (P = 0.006). The spermatozoa treated with SP from good freezers produced more ROS than when treated with SP from bad freezers (P = 0.007). Motility parameters were not affected by adding SP. In conclusion, adding SP after thawing does not have a beneficial effect on sperm quality, suggesting an inability to repair stallion sperm cryoinjuries, regardless of whether the SP originated from stallions semen, which has good or bad quality after thawing.


ROS; Mitochondrial membrane potential; MitoSOX; Cryopreservation; Freezability

Published in

Animal Reproduction Science
2018, Volume: 196, pages: 48-58